Friday, May 7, 2010

Big Head, Little Head - Deep thoughts (well, sort of) and shallowness

I am from a family of bigheaded people – not ego (I don’t think?) but cranium size - and used to be horrified by the size of my head in photos. And when I had gone for a while without cringing at a photo, I would try on hats, and cringe, because no hats fit me except large men’s hats. Even as a teenager. Hell, even as a preteen!

This was taken in 2000 when I was at a very low weight, achieved by obsessive avoidance of all foods I had enjoyed for all the years prior to the year 2000. I returned to normal eating patterns a few months later and never displayed this photo – although it’s great of cousin Amy and my brother Tim’s wife Belinda and Tim – because I thought my thinness was shocking. (Because, it’s all about me.)

But as another gauge, now when I look at it, I wish I was that thin again. Really. Bony inverted shoulders, loose neckline (nothing for the ribbed fabric to cling to) and all.

I was at a good weight very briefly, I think around 2003. That was the golden time between my too-thin phase and my too-puffy phase. Damn, damn, damn I think it lasted only a millisecond… Of course I felt fat even then - because I’m never able to appreciate my appearance or achievements until months or years later, when it’s as if the look or the thing happened to someone else, so I can almost be objective - but I remember a friend who hadn’t seen me for a while asking in 2003 if I had been working out. HA! Of course I had not. I think she was referring to a filling-out of some of my shoulder boniness. Little did she know (or I know) this was a first stage of the plump puffiness that would characterize my next decade.

But within the past few months have I noticed something horribly new in photos of me. OK, to speak rationally for a moment, I am about 35 (40? 400? 25? it’s very hard to be rational) pounds overweight. Is that enough to turn my BIG HEAD into a PIN HEAD?

Wow. I never thought I would be a pin head. I am just totally unprepared for this. I thought by age 48 I had at least dabbled in most kinds of negative self image but this one is new. Kind of fascinating that new things actually exist on this boring fading planet, in one’s 40s, but…yes.

Maybe the brown hair was better (according to my hairdresser that look was overall dull and the gray knocked people over, should I trust his assessment?) – maybe the red-dyed hair is thinner? But it’s not thin – it still grows fast, it still gets poufy on top, I still need it cut more often than I want to deal with.

Has my happy pill prescription or my blood pressure pill changed the hair follicles? Does that matter? God knows I am not giving up either pharmaceutical…

Is it the side part? I don’t love the side part but when I avoid it I get dense bangs almost reminiscent of a unibrow…no no no! Only when I have a lot of hair on my forehead do I remember, recognize, that I am at least somewhat petite (in height if nothing else), and thus overwhelmed by the hair.

I had a side part in my early 30s and it looked a zillion times better than now. That haircut was almost as brief a golden moment as my “perfect weight.” In fact I think I only ever had that haircut 2-3 times because even when I would take my then-hairdresser a photo of how she had cut it just 2 months before, she couldn’t repeat it –it was gone, like Camelot.

Yes, I think maybe this petite little Sarah with the big head is gone. The 2010 version of Craig still looks slim and fly! But somehow in the process of Sarah becoming more self-actualized, confident, exhibiting at least 10 new positives (of course I haven’t counted them, since I don’t analyze positives, but that number sounds good) concerning myself and my activities and relationships, I turned into a plump middle-aged woman with a pin head.

I struggle so much with self portraits, trying to hide The Chins...I usually end up with a head tilt that, other than to hide chin folds, has no explanation. I think my big grin is kind of like a goofy kid or a crazy person or someone who can’t afford plastic surgery (hmmm?!) pulling loose skin behind their ears and fastening it with…duct tape?

(Here I took a break from typing to eat 5…or was it 6…more? forkfuls of mac & cheese. Which probably has a relevance I can’t decipher this Friday night.)

Anyway…so with the head tilt I am aiming for kind of an upbeat tautness. Yeah, isn’t that what I’m known for? Being upbeat. And TAUT. (I feel silly even typing that word - laugh/smile/sigh.)


SarahBowie said...

Uh, I should have probably included a lot more photos of my current pin head self. Ugh. Yeah right.

irene said...

Your head is fine. it contains humor and wisdom. Your art collectionis spectacular. I'm honored to be in good company. Irene

Showing up for the Muse said...

oh my gosh it's so true... not your head size- but our self perceptions that never let up the critique! When I was 16 I hated my body- now at 48 I would die to have that body. Then I notice a 67 year old woman looking at me with envy... when will I get it?

Jodette said...

You do not have a pin head!

If you feel you have chins, embrace them! I have so many truly fat friends (like me) who refuse to allow anyone to take their photos & I used to be that way too. I woke up one day & realized that when I die, my family will have no photos of me! Now there are dozens of photos of me. Every single photo contains at least one dog. Eh, it's progress.

Embrace you as we embrace you -cherished & loved, respected & admired....

SarahBowie said...

I'm going to start putting things like "Do these pants make me look fat?" on my blog. My blog readers are so awesome. Keep me straight. Inject me with positive!

Rachel said...

If it makes you feel any better, I have never thought your head was too big or too small. It is just perfect! (:

Library Lady said...

Loved the pictures! I looked at myself and thought, "I look pretty good (meaning, "thin") there. But what the heck was I wearing?"

I remember the outfit, sorta, but can't quite bring it all to mind.

Your head, dear Sarah, is full of knowledge, wisdom, good sense, and other wonderful stuff.

It's weird that we take a body part, blow it all out of proportion, and then OCD on it.
I think women are more prone to this than are men, but it does seem to be the human condition.

Stop worrying about your head and just keep using it to write these wonderful posts!

There's a saying you need to memorize and repeat for 21 days:

"We'd worry less about ourselves if we realized how seldom other people think of us."